Sin City

The latte tax is just a start. Heres a modest plan to restore fiscal health and improve Seattle.

WHY STOP TAXING at espresso, as proposed in Seattles Initiative 77? Seattle is a wicked, wicked place that can only be whipped into shape with a stiff regimen of luxury and sin taxes. Mossback proposes we make hay from the following new punishing dedicated tax schemes:

Stripper Tax: 10 cent tax for every dollar stuffed into a G-string goes to fund City Council campaigns.

Windows Tax: A tax requiring that Bill Gates pay $1 every time Windows or Internet Explorer crashes your PC; $10 for every virus attack due to a software vulnerability; and $100 for every piece of spam received.

Jet Ski Tax: An $8,000 fee paid on any Jet Ski operated in King County, with revenue to go to wildlife-breeding programs or public assistance for the deaf.

Boeing Favors Tax: A tax on the salaries of public officials and lobby groups responsible for Boeing giveaways. The tax must equal the dollar amount of Boeings subsidies, tax breaks, and benefits.

Lutefisk Tax: $1,000 to a public food bank for every pound of lutefisk sold in Ballard.

Garlic Fries Tax: $1 for every order goes to help acquire players the Mariners wont trade for, who are needed to win a World Series.

Holmgren Tax: $1 million for every Seahawks loss, to be paid in cash to long-suffering fans who once were young men when the Seahawks last won a playoff game.

Ricks Mouth Tax: $100 (retroactive) for every lie told by former Husky football coach Rick Neuheisel. Money will cover the school districts $35 million deficit.

Molester Tax: Churches and nonprofits (like the Boy Scouts) lose tax exemptions and must pay $1 million for every child molested by priests, pastors, and scout leaders.

Traffic-Circle and Speed-Bump Tax: To compensate for the artery clogging garden patches and annoying traffic-calming measures, every residential neighborhood that wants them should pay $25,000 into a Pompeii fund to assist victims of the next natural disaster who wont be able to evacuate the city because the streets werent wide enough.

Tree Fees: Greenbelts are great, but does every Seattle street have to be a tree-choked boulevard? Mature saplings are blocking views and making driving less safe$1,000 for each view-blocker.

Phony Co-ops Tax: A heavy fee for businesses that pass themselves off as consumer cooperatives but in fact just use the label as warm-and-fuzzy gloss to cover their greedy corporate ways.

Signal Fines: Using hidden cameras, fine drivers who dont use their turn signals.

Bikers-Abreast Fines: For cyclists who insist on riding two and three abreast on Lake Washington Boulevard when its not one of those damnable bicycle weekends.

Yuppie Tax: A countywide fee targeting businesses that are flypaper for yuppies. You know them when you see them (e.g., the new Kirkland wine bar, Purple).

Weather Tax: $6,000 for every TV news anchor who blabs on and on about the great hot weather during droughts and forest-fire season. Funds go to families of fire fighters lost in line of duty.

Phony-Storm Tax: TV stations must also pay $100,000 for every story unnecessarily hyping routine weather such as wind and rain and snow at the Pass in December!

Bad-Public-Art Tax: To be paid by artists who create awful public art. Tax to be determined by public vote on the artwork and deducted from grants.

The No-Segues Tax: Someday soon, it might be possible to take a ferry from Vashon Island to West Seattle, pedal your bike to Alki, get a water taxi to downtown, grab a horse carriage to Westlake, take the monorail to Seattle Center, hop a trolley to Lake Union, ride light rail to Montlake, catch a Metro bus across the floating bridge to a Redmond park-and-ride where your vanpool is waiting to whisk you to your job in Bothell. Can we please apply a tax to anyone who suggests any new modes of transportation?

Paul Allen Tax: For every dollar in public subsidy for Vulcan projects, $100 should be paid to the city for low- income housing so we can all live long and prosper. Plus free rides on Pauls jet to Trail Blazers games.

MOSSBACK CALCULATES that the sum total of the taxes outlined here would generate approximately $67 billion in annual revenue (assuming the Colacurcios report all of their income properly). Thats enough to fix all of our problems, rebuild Iraq, and still have some left over for quality of life. Which, by the way, ought to be taxed also.

kberger@seattleweekly.com

 
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